The Bureau of Mines used a high-temperature rotational viscometer to test basic oxygen furnace slags to determine fluorspar requirements and to evaluate colemanite and fused boric acid as substitute fluidizers. A continuous technique of viscosity measurement was adapted to better determine the viscosity-temperature profiles of volatile fluorspar slags. Criteria used for estimating slag fluidizer effectiveness were (1) the apparent solidification temperature, and (2) the temperature range of slag crystallization. Colemanite and fused boric acid in high-basicity slag were superior fluidizers to flurospar when compared on the basis of boron versus fluorine concentration. Fused boric acid was nearly equivalent to ceramic-grade fluorspar when compared on a simple weight basis, while colemanite was inferior to fluorspar. Fluorspar slags volatilized fluorine during viscosity testing. Colemanite and fused boric acid slags were stable, no boron losses being detected. A fluidizing limit was found for fluorspar at 2.9 percent fluorine concentration; higher concentrations impaired viscosity and caused foaming and crusting of slag. Concentrations of boron up to 4.4 percent resulted in very fluid slags with no fluidizing limit.
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